As a marathon runner for more than16 years, Parks has been saving his 100th marathon for his hometown race. He is thrilled to have friends and family join him at his favourite finish line at City Park to mark the occasion.
The 20th Annual BMO Okanagan Marathon will attract more than 3,000 participants in five events over Thanksgiving Weekend, including a 5 km race, BMO ABC Kids’ Run, 10 km race, as well as half and full marathons.
Parks has run the BMO Okanagan Marathon 11 times. “I’ll be running once again as a pace rabbit, it allows me to run the same pace the whole way.” It also helps him train for upcoming races. “Every race I have a different running goal, and being a pace rabbit, you have 50 critics watching everything you do and they know if you’re going too fast.” One of his favourite parts of running in Kelowna is seeing his friends and family there for a very special day, “It’s everything to me,” he adds.
Amazingly, Parks has run 99 marathons in the past 11 years. He adds, “When people ask me what my secret is, I tell them “I showed up!” In order to run this many marathons in such a short stint, Parks has had to average nine marathons per year. “You can’t fake training. To run, you have to be logical, realistic and practical – you do what you can do on the day.” One of the things he’s most proud of is running 10 consecutive Boston Marathons, “It’s an amazing feeling and one of my top races to participate in, and once you cross that finish line you know you can do anything.” The BMO Okanagan Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifier – it’s expected that many people will qualify with faster times, as the event boasts one of Western Canada’s flatter and faster courses.
The BMO Okanagan Marathon has an event for everyone – from the recreational, advanced and competitive runner and at every age level. Every registered participant will receive a BMO Okanagan Marathon Bag, along with a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal. The race is ideal for groups to build team spirit while also raising money for a great cause, the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. http://www.sunshine.ca/
SCHEDULE 2014 BMO Okanagan Marathon, City Park – 1600 Abbott St.
SPORTS EXPO & PACKAGE PICKUP
• Friday, October 10th from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
• Saturday, October 11th from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
• Walk up registrations welcome
BMO KIDS’ ZONE (Soccer Zone, Face Painting)
• Saturday, October 11th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
• Sunday, October 12th from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2014
• 9:00 a.m. – Running Room Free 3km Friendship Run
• 10:00 a.m. – 5 km Fun Run/Walk
• 12:00 – 12:45 p.m. – BMO ABC Kids’ Activities
• 12:45 p.m. – BMO ABC Kids’ Fun 1km Run
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014
• 6:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Gear check
• 7:30 a.m. – Marathon Run/Walk
• 8:00 a.m. – 21.1 km Run/Walk
• 8:30 a.m. – 10km Run/Walk